trayTrix is a launcher that allows you to start your favorite applications, visit your saved links, search the web and more via its system tray icon. The application is offered as shareware, meaning that the user can try it for free but has to purchase a license to lift various limitations.
The installation really is quite standard with all the usual suspects like opting for shortcuts and Start entries. The supported operating systems are Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7 and 8x. Both 32-bit and 64-bit systems are supported and the installer chooses the correct files for your PC automatically.
The basic interface of the application is quite sleek with two rows of six items each, totaling a default selection of 12 items. The programs that the launcher chooses to include by default are very important Windows and web utilities like a calculator, an alarm, notes, a screenshot utility and a utility that allows you to search the web via a ton of different search engines. The icons are quite well designed and the minimalistic look is great for those who are looking to reduce the clutter of their desktop.
Of course, there are not a lot of other reasons why someone would want to use a launcher except for having access to their programs without putting icons on the desktop and the developers know that. The interface is fully customizable and the user can add all of their favorite applications into the list. As you might expect, the imported icons do not always look great as the program sets everything in a specific resolution and some icons stretch or tighten a bit too much.
As far as usability goes, I personally find the application a bit strange. The only way to access its interface is through the system tray icon which I find very awkward to use. I would love to have an option to set the launcher in the taskbar but I guess that would defeat its whole purpose and even its name. Obviously, this boils down completely to personal preference and I am willing to bet there plenty of users will prefer this way of doing things rather than the taskbar.
A very cool thing about this launcher is that it provides the user with a lot of extra but completely optional utilities. As such, it can act as a central hub of sorts instead of merely being a way to launch your favorite applications. For example, it can spell-check your clipboard or selected text anywhere in your computer and you can then use that text to search the web with your query. A lot of these utilities interact nicely with each other even if they require some time to get used to.
-Minimal, neat interface
-A lot of very useful extra utilities and tools
-Includes web links and searches
-A few strange UI interactions
-Can be awkward to use
If you are looking for ways to spice up your desktop and you do not like to see it cluttered and messy, trayTrix really deserves your time. The fact that you have to pay to have access to any of the advanced utilities might deter some users but the demo version should be enough to let you decide if this is for you.